The paradox that is Persia: Abbas Milani at TEDxStanford

The paradox that is Persia: Abbas Milani at TEDxStanford


Translator: Roozbeh Fakhr
Reviewer: Leila Ataei Iran that you see in the media,
Iran that you see talked about Iran that you see written about,
most often in the last 30 years, is a dour country, run by angry old men, who shout death to America,
death to Israel, who promote a cult of martyrdom. But it’s also a society
that produces Maz Jobrani. And I am here to tell you that there is a lot more happening
inside Iran than what you see here. A lot more things
that are very very promising. I’m not here to tell you that
there’s nothing to worry about Iran, but I’m here to tell you
that if you really understand the paradox of Persia, you will find a country
that is worth being interested in. And it is a country that
does not deserve to be stereotyped by the behavior of its current
rude impolite and impolitic leaders. Why do I call it the “paradox of Persia”? For those of you who are older than 35, you would know that
before the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iran was called Iran. If you are a little older,
at least 85 years older, you would know
that in the English languages, essentially in all the Romance languages, Iran used to be called Persia. So when we talk about Persia,
we’re essentially talking about what you today would understand
as Islamic Republic of Iran. And where does this paradox begin? It begins essentially
at the dawn of Western civilization. And it begins at the dawn
of the great Empire that Iran was 2,500 years ago. So I’m going to try to give you
a little bit of its history of these 2,500 years and try to pick moments of that history
that show you the Iran that is different than the Iran that you generally
hear about, or read about. But it’s 2,500 years of history,
and I have 14 minutes. If I’m very lucky, 17 minutes. So how do you do this in 17 or 14 minutes? I’ll do it. I decided to take my cues
from a Persian woman. And this is not by accident. Persian women are now in Iran
at the forefront of the battle for creating a democratic society. They have been for the last 150 years.
I’ll tell you a little bit about them. But Persia has also given us
the greatest storyteller of all time. Many of you don’t know her as Persian. Many of you know her maybe
as the person that gave you what you probably know
as “Arabian Nights.” But Arabian Nights actually is called: “A Thousand and One Nights.” And the person that created
“A Thousand and One Nights” is a woman called “Shahrazad.” Shahrazad gives us the paradox of Persia. Shahrazad is the daughter of a Prince, some say the daughter
of the Prime Minister. She is married to this
murderously jealous King. The dark side of the Iranian history as well as the light side
of the Iranian history. And if you’ve read the story,
you would know the jealous King, in order to make sure
that he’s not cuckolded by his wife, he’s been cuckolded once,
he doesn’t want it happen again, he kills his wives every night
after he consummates marriage. Shahrazad comes and decides the way
to delay this is tell him a story, and keep the punchline for the next day. The punchline continues
for a thousand and one nights. That’s why we get a 1001 nights. She is saved, we have one
of the greatest stories of all time. We have basically one of the most
remarkable story structures. The episodic story structure that every television series
you love is based on really comes from
“A Thousand and One Nights.” It has a structural story,
it has the overall narrative and it has episodes
that you can take in and out. By the time the West got ahold of
“A Thousand and One Nights,” it became “Arabian Nights.” By the time Hollywood got hold of it, it became “Ali Baba and
the 40 thieves of Baghdad. (Laughter) That’s what often happens, unfortunately,
when Hollywood gets its hands on Iran. So, I’m going to give you
4 episodes of Iranian history. The beginning, the advent of Islam,
the 19th century, and today. And in each case,
I’m going to try to give you a sense of this paradox
that defines what it means to be Persian, what it means to be Persia. I can say with some certainty
there is no country that I know of that has been as central
to Western consciousness as Persia has. That’s a big claim to make,
but I’m willing to back it up. And I have 2 and a half minutes to do it, and I am going to try
to do it in 2.5 minutes. We have two canonical texts in the development of the Western
consciousness of itself as the West. One is the Bible. The other one is Herodotus’ “Histories.” These are the two canonical texts. Herodotus is essentially about the war
between the Greeks and the Persians. And Herodotus is very clear. He says the Greeks began to see themselves as different than the East
in opposition to Iran. So Iran was essentially at the time
the Other of the West. It was the force that they defined
themselves in opposition to. Herodotus has wonderful things
to say about Iran. But he also has some
very negative things to say. Herodotus might well have been in fact
Iranian himself. He lived in the part of the Asian minor, that at the time of his birth
was dominated by Iran. If you’ve read “Creation” by Gore [Vidal], you would know the story
of Herodotus’s life. Go to the Bible, the Old Testament. Again, I suggest, there is no country
that is as praised in the Old Testament, other than Jews themselves, who are the central characters
of the Old Testament, as the Persians. There is no mortal in the Old Testament
that is as praised as Cyrus. Cyrus is the person that freed Jews
from the Babylonian captivity. Cyrus is the one that rebuilt
Jerusalem for Jews. So it is at the result
of the Babylonian captivity, that we have the first mass migration
of Jews into Iran. Jews have been living in Iran
for almost 3,000 years. And I can tell you,
again with some certainty, except for the 20th century, Jews lived more comfortably,
more safely in Iran, than they did in Europe. You never had pogroms
like you had in Europe, in Iran. And Jews have lived there comfortably. And today, as I speak in spite
of the lunacies of Ahmadinejad, in spite of the anti-Israeli
rhetoric of the regime, there are more Jews living in Iran today
than in the entire Muslim world together. There are close to 25,000 Jews
living in Iran today. Before the revolution there were about
125 to 150,000 of them. So Iran has had this rather remarkable
history with Jews. The other remarkable history,
again in the Bible, I won’t repeat it, this story of Esther. 2,500 years ago an Iranian king
was married to a Jew, and at the same time, the dark side, the paradoxical side
of Iranian history, manifests itself
in the efforts of the Prime Minister who tried to commit
the first act of genocide against Jews and when he failed,
you have the Feast of Purim, you have the Savior, you have Esther, who is incidentally buried in Iran. The place of burial for Esther
is in Iran today. Some of the hoodlums
in the Islamic republic recently tried to demolish it;
fortunately, they did not succeed. Fast forward, 700-800 years,
to the 7th century, and you have the advent of Islam. Islam comes to Iran in the 7th century. Iran was by then Zoroastrian. Zoroastrian faith again
is very little known in the world. But Zoroastrian faith
has probably contributed more to the theologies of Judeo-Christian
and Islamic systems than any other religion in the world. Let me give you briefly some of the ideas that have come from Zoroastrianism
and found their way into Christianity into Judaism, into Islam. The idea of a Messiah,
the idea of a millennium, a thousand-year cycle of history,
the idea of Hell, the idea of Heaven, all come from Zoroastrianism. The word you know and use for Heaven
is in fact a Persian word. Paradise is a Latinized version of Pardis,
which is the name of a Persian garden, which incidentally is also captured
most beautifully in some of the carpets you see. There is no theme more repeated
in Persian carpets than an effort to recapture Paradise. So Islam comes to this country that already had
this very sophisticated Empire and a very sophisticated theology.
What happens to it? Well, what happens to it, first of all, Iranians fight for about
a 150 to 200 years to resist this. Iranians were the only country
that were conquered by the Arabs but did not take Arabic language. The concept of “Arab,”
the strange concept of “Arab,” as everyone who speaks Arabic,
was developed in that early phase. Iranians were the exception. They kept the language,
they did not take Arabic. Persian remained their language. And then something very remarkable
has happened. And historians, scholars,
have been writing about this increasingly fascinatingly
detailed accounts. And that is: that Iranians
took some of the Islamic Ideas and gave them an Iranian bent. Shi’ism, which is the state
religion in Iran today, many scholars will tell you
has more in common with Zoroastrianism than it has with any other Muslim society. And the dominant esthetic motif,
after that Arab invasion, something you see in many Persian carpets, in many Persian fabrics, probably the motif you’ve seen
more than anything else from Iran, is the paisley. The paisley is said to be
this paradoxical identity of Iran. Partly Zoroastrian, pre-Islamic,
partly Islamic. The pine tree was the tree of Zarathustra. It was bent by the Arab invasion,
but it wasn’t broken. So Iran took a paradoxical character, partly pre-Islamic, partly Islamic. And its Islam that’s different
than anywhere else in the world. The Islam that is dominant
in Iran today, the Shi’ism, has many characteristics
of the Zoroastrian ideas we talked about. Fast forward again to the 19th century. In the 19th century, you have two,
again, fascinating developments both inside Iran, and in the perception of Iran in the West. Paradoxical development. The 19th century is the age
of increasing despotism in Iran. But it’s also an age
of remarkable intellectual development, of remarkable religious reformation. Very little talked about in the West. But it is the age where Shi’ism
is undergoing a remarkable shift, and you have the birth of a new religion. You have the birth of the Bahá’í movement,
out of the Babi movement. Two years before Seneca Falls, what is considered to be
the first feminist convention in America, an Iranian woman
by the name of Qurratu’l-‘Ayn walked on stage,
took off her veil, and gave a talk. The sight was so stunning that someone took a knife
to his own throat and another one went on the stage
and tried to kill her. That is 150 years ago. That’s the beginning
of the women’s movement in Iran. And you can move forward
in the last 150 years, and see that, this remarkable turmoil,
this remarkable change, this remarkable assertiveness
of Iranian women. In the West, as Iranians
are undergoing this change, you have two different approaches to Iran. You have a romantic adulation of Iran. You have Emerson,
the quintessential American intellectual, falling in love with Iran,
falling in love with Iranian poets. He tries to learn Persian
to read some of this poetry in Persian. Goethe,
the quintessential romantic in Europe, tries to learn Persian because he says:
Hafez and Saadi and Rumi, the best selling poets in America today, Khayyám, who is the subject
of what is considered maybe the best translation
of poetry in history… I am sure all of you have at one time been told by your beloved,
or have told your beloved that a jug of wine, a loaf of bread,
and thou, is all you need. That is from a Persian poet
called Khayyám. That aspect, is part of the paradoxical
approach of the West to Iran or Persia in the 19th century. But you also have the development
of colonialism. Colonialism has come to this region. Iran is one of only 6 countries
in the 3rd world that is not colonized. When the West begins
to colonize the world, Iran is one of the 6 countries
that survive, maintains its independence. But at the same time,
colonizers, particularly British, begin to develop a rather nasty language
to talk about Iran. Talking about Persians as shifty people. Talking about Persians
as eternally inclined toward despotism. In need of a British hand to be civilized. England! Iran had a city that was
2 million people, it’s estimated, a thousand years ago. Iran had a city that had
5000 professors in the 11th century. England, at the time, was a cow pasture. (Laughter) At that time in the 20th century, someone enlightened in England understood
that’s a dangerous game to get into! The idea of civilizing Iran.
Civilizing India. The white man’s burden.
Women were not part of this. Today’s Iran is the last moment of this
paradoxical history I’m going to talk about. You all know about the leadership,
you know about the government. You know it’s one of the most
despotic theocracies in the world. You know that there’s a disproportionate
amount of power in the hands of one unelected official. You know that the government has come
in order to create an Islamic society. Ayatollah Khomeini, who founded the state,
said: “Economics is for donkeys. We made the revolution
to change people into Islam.” And I can tell you
with absolute certainty, Iranian society today is as far away from the model
that Ayatollah Khomeini had in mind as it is possibly to imagine. What you have in Iran,
beneath the surface, is a vibrant society, that is in many ways
bursting at the seams. More than 60 percent of college
graduates in Iran today are women. Iran has 40 million people
with access to the Internet. Iran has 5 million Facebook subscribers. And Facebook is banned in Iran. (Laughter) Music is banned in Iran
from being officially shown on television. Women are banned
from singing on television, as a solo vocalist. But Iran is undergoing
a remarkable musical revolution. Iran is undergoing a remarkable
sexual revolution. One journalist says instead of calling Iran
the Islamic Republic of Iran, we should call it
the Erotic Republic of Iran. (Laughter) Truly what is happening with women,
at the forefront of the struggle, is one of the most
fascinating heroic stories. So my hope is that by hearing
some of these episodic aspects of a very rich, complicated history, every time you see an image
of a Mullah on television, you see that, that is the shadow
of a history that is remarkably rich. It has had its downfalls,
but it has had its peaks, and it is in my view impossible
to understand what we call our common human heritage without understanding
the very significant contributions that Persia has made. Thank you very much. (Applause)

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  1. He is partially wrong on the colonization theme
    Althou Iran wasnt officially colonised it was a de facto british colony for some time
    British troops confiscated crops and agricultural products
    This trigger a massive famine that killed over 1 million iranians
    The british obtained exclusive rights in tobaco and oil industries
    They plundered the country at will just like they did in the other official colonies

  2. I believe in liberalism and I don't believe in the current regime. BUT I still think we need to say down to Isreal because this country is slaughtering all the countries around it. Isreal is America's military camp in Asia. Wherever America goes, wars arise and people get killed. We Asians do better if America stops interferring in our affairs. But making deals with them can be beneficial for both parties. I'm saying that as a pro-liberalism Iranian!

  3. I am so sorry for this speech that has given by Abbas Milani. He was absolutely going in the wrong direction. I am a free thinker Iranian or as he tries to say it a "Persian". What he forgets to say about Iran is that Persian is who talks Parsi or Farsi . And according to statistics only %33 of those living in Iran are Parsi speaking people and the rest are Kurdish, Azerbaijani and a few different other languages who has no rights.
    Dear Dr. Abbas Milani you can not call this country of Iran as same as Persia. As we can not call the country which is called Greek today "Rome". World is changing you better adjust yourself with it otherwise you will live in your dreamed world.
    And I don"t know how dare you believe that Zoroastrians and Sheas has something in common. You don"t know absolutely anything about Zoroastrians or you are mistaken Shea by some other branches of Islam.

  4. I'm glsd he mentioned the bible, because TMH said he would raise up the Medes and Persians to destroy the Daughter of Babylon (America). Biblical prophecy os being fulfilled slowly but surely. Read Jeremiah 50-51, Revelation 18, Isiah 47…this destruction is coming soon. America has bitten off more than it can chew and God is going to show them who they're really dealing with.

  5. It’s very good that you introduced the Iran as Persia and it’s means Kurdish not part of your country and obviously occupied West part of great Kurdistan .

  6. To be good from western point of view: liking Jews and eroticism., simplification of history in a such foolish way just to show what ?No sir , we have a lot of problems here in Iran but we know ourselves that we could not be a milking cow and call it what religion u want . sorry about my broken English!

  7. It’s one thing to show the bright side of your country and nation that’s somewhat masked by the bad image of the ruling class and the hostile regime. It’s totally acceptable to highlight how Jews found Iran more welcoming than other countries, Iran youth is vibrant and open-minded ..etc But, it’s totally unacceptabe to spew blatant lies in attempt to appease western audience. The argument 11:00 that Shiism is the Iranian / Persian twist of the Islam is an absolute lie. If you aren’t proud of Islam, just be honest rather than throwing others under the bus. 1st, you throw other Muslims(non shia) as ”we are different Muslims…not like these crazy lunatics” and secondly just to stuff your narrative with meat you lie throwing Shias under the bus showing them as “a persian clone copy of the original Islam”.

    As a Shia Muslim, I find it totally dishonest and unethical to participate in this lie; the lie that is being used as major hate rhetoric talking point against Shias by ISIS, Iraqi baath and other radicals used to justify the delegitimization and killing of my people “Shia Muslims”.

    This is also factually incorrect:

    Oldest Shia strongholds: Bahrain, Eastern Saudi Arabia, Kufa/Najf(Iraq) and Lebanon “AAmil Area”

    900 yrs later: Iran becomes overwhelmingly Shia.

  8. Shi'ism in Iran is a recent phenomena related with the Pahlavi ascension and the antagonism with the Ottoman empire only 400 years ago!

  9. SEPAS   Mr. Milani From Shahrezad to Now a Day Women in Iran.. we have proved that no wild horses can put these strong women  on their knees.

  10. This was one of the most comprehensive descriptions I've ever heard of Iran, very accurate, based on facts and deep investigation of its historical and cultural journey,
    My deepest appriceations

  11. as an iranian the only thing that everyone needs to understand is, the government here does not represent iran, it represents a faction of extremists who hijacked the revolution by propagating the mostly then uneducated population towards a future they did not understand

    the iran you see on the news is far from what it actually is

    ahuramazda be with all who seek peace

  12. While mostly true I can argue Iran had very elitist values for the most part before the introduction/take over of Islam over the empire. Sadly human greed and bigotry does not know religion or government; it always has the biggest impact on the fate of the world.

  13. درود بر خاک پاک اهورایی ایران کشوری که تاریخ بدون او هویتی خاموش دارد

  14. Bruh. Zoroastrian has alot things similar to islam because both religions come from the same source. Bruh. Why do u keep on saying persia? Didn't iranians themselves call iran for iran way before that?

  15. Since I had a brief meeting with an Iranian woman in London and the UK held the Oil Tanker in Gibraltar I found that Iran is indeed an interesting Country. And I find I like the people. Respect to the Persian people. (from an Englishman).

  16. It's not anti Israeli rhetoric, Israel stole a whole country and wants to steal more and more they had done many war crimes, even genocides at the start of them taking over. Before Israel every person was living peacefully when it came to religion, until most Jews un the area flipped a 180. The reason why all middle eastern jews not go back to Israel because they are treated as second class citizens to European jews and african jews are treated even worse…..

    Jews are not bad because they are Jewish, jews who support Israel are bad. Middle easterners have always protected or accepted the jews one way or the other. Just like when the muslims where forced back from Spain, the jews came back with them because the Christians where going on a crusade against them.

  17. First he said Iranians kept their language and then adds an Iranian female revolting by the name of Qurat ul Ain. That name cannot get anymore Arabic than that. Islam doesn’t force Arabic language to lands it touches unlinked English- examples are India and Pakistan which speak English in their parliaments. The only Arabic they keep is the Holy Quran which guarantees its authenticity in its original revealed language. Other than that one point very entertaining piece.

  18. One more thing I would like to add is that there was no 150 years of actual resistance against Islam. People were living in harmony for that many years until the country was fully Islamic by well. Wars didn’t last that long back then. The only thing between a person and accepting Islam is ego. And obviously Iranians with their intellect and advance knowledge of this world had a good share of ego as well just to surrender to this beautiful religion. If you study the story of Satan in the Holy Quran you will find that satan himself was cursed due to his arrogance and ego against Adam. I say this with all due respect to you all.

  19. خیلی رقت انگیزه که ما ایرانی ها احساس میکنیم باید در برابر افکار عمومی طبقه متوسط غرب شرمنده باشیم و خودمون رو جر بدیم که آقا ما رو با حکومت بوگندوی ریشوها یکی نکنید. این وضع یه کمدی گریه داره. باید وارونه باشه و جای متهم و قاضی عوض شه. این افکار عمومی جوگیر و تخمی غربه که باید بابت افسار وقلاده نزدن بر گردن سیاستمداران امپریالیستش و حتی گاهی همدستی و همراهی با تجاوزهای مستمرشون به ما جواب بده. بگن چرا همیشه موجودیت ما رو متزلزل و مضطرب میخواستن حتی وقتی قیافه سیاستمدارامون مثل آخوندها نبود. این حرومزاده ها اینقدر بازیگرای خوبی اند که باورشون شده مومنان حقیقی مذهب حقوق بشرند و باید برای این خدا قربانی ببرند و جهاد کنند و زمینهای جدید بگیرند. در حالی که ماهیت همه ش به معنی فیزیکی کلمه لاتبازی زورگیری و سرقته. جیب منابع ما رو بزنن و کمی هم کبودمان کنند تا هم هزینه تمام شده رفاهشان کمتر و ثروتشون بیشتر شه و هم شهوت مسلط و مقتدربودن داشته باشند.

  20. It there weren't so many, who are too mentally weak and afraid to question what the mainstream tells them to think and believe .. ie. Iraq WMDs. This video wouldn't exist.

  21. usually Abbas Milani consider as an intelligent man but this speech is just bulshit Literally BULSHIT the man needs to stick to political analysis and leave history alone

  22. ABBAS, WE DON'T CARE ABOUT HOW GREAT IRAN OR AMERICA OR EUROPE OR AFRICA OR CHINA… IS. BECAUSE IF YOU ASK ANYBODY IN THE WORLD, HOW GREAT THEIR CULTURE IS/WAS, THEY WILL SAY THE SAME THING..ABBBAS THE ONLY THING WE CARE ABOUT IS LOVE AND PROSPERITY! IF YOU CAN SOLVE THAT, I'LL START LISTENING TO YOU.

  23. Being Persian is the luckiest thing that ever happened to me, and also the most frustrating. Long live Iranians!

  24. Americans helped the Islamists gain power in Iran and now hate them because they can't profit from them like they do with the Saudis. You help depose a Democracy so that a Monarch gains power and then later help Islamists depose that same Monarch. If Americans really cared for democracy and well being of Iran then they would have never helped to bring two successive Authoritarian regimes into power. If Americans actually invade Iran then all they will achieve is solidifying the power of the Islamic regime and their popularity from the Iranian people. And many US military servicemen and women will die in the invasion. The Iranian Islamist regime has a decent military who can cause heavy casualties. They are not some pushovers like the old Republican Iraqi army. They have their own military industrial complex and enough patriotic men who are willing to fight the American Invaders for decades to come. If Arabs at their peak failed to destroy Iranian culture then how do you expect the Americans to force the Iranians into submission.

    Also I think the worst nightmare for the Israeli elite is a Secular Iran because once Iran becomes secular they will focus heavily on improving their economic power and technology. The Israeli desire to dominate the entire Middle East and hate anyone who might surpass them. They love the current Islamist regime as it gives them legitimacy to the rest of the world because they currently the only democracy in the Middle East.

  25. In old pictures of Iran/Persia you can see women without a face cover.
    From that perspective the women rights have decreased.
    Was wondering how that was possible?

  26. The challenge is to rise above and free ourselves from the chains that our chosen religion has placed upon us. We have done and been through this before, and we will be victorious again. This was a call of history that we ignored and been paying the cost since 1979. The true path of Iranians/Persians is freedom and democracy and that we shall achieve.

  27. Also need to read about Mongolian Empire, Timurid dynasty, Samanids dynasty, most civilised cities of Persia were, Herat, Balkh, Kandahar, Balkh and Bukhara, none are situated in modern Iran.

  28. if anyone believes in all or most of what he says doesn't know anything about history.. There was not any country called Persia ! Only Greece historians called part of that land Persia , not the whole area. And name Iran became official name of that country after Reza Shah brought to power by MI6 ( England regime change) .. No one in Iran call themselves Persian… There are over 10 different nations and ethnics in Iran today and the biggest nation – ethnic are Turks… But because of last century global politics and for benefits of big powers, Persians brought to power and Farsi became the only language for education , and all the other language got forbidden from writing, practicing, teaching, publishing books, news letters, etc…. I am sorry for Stanford university and Tedx Talk for listening and believing in this guy. 70% of Farsi language is Arabic, 25% Turkish, 5% Ordu… Maybe my numbers are not correct but you can do some research about Iran's history and Farsi language. Most of history books about Iran written by Jewish historian who made Persian believe in made-up history…

  29. I am an  Iranian – American who  migrated to US back in 1992 ….  I did learn 5 new English words form his  presentation :  1) Dour ( 0:22)   2) Cuckolded ( 3: 37)   3)Canonical (5:28)  4) hoodlums ( 8:37)    5)  Despotism ( 12:23)   ……..I truly love English language and after living  so many years in US , I am still very thirsty to improve my English skills ….thank you Dr Milliani  ( OSTAD )

  30. He intentionally skipped middle ages not to talk of Turks role in the history of Iran. He tries to talk what western people want to hear.

  31. Don’t BS too much Jews in Iran tight in house can’t talk outside the same as other like Assyrian zerstorian kalimi or bahayee yes they live over 3000 years tell me why your government brought down all cross from churches & killed Christian voice I’m talking today’s but they’re not living the way they should live stop BS..

  32. I wish more Americans would come and visit Iran. The things you would see here is amazing and memorable. Despite Iran's struggles, one day, we will be rise to be the most treatable nation on world. Today's trust isues are result of a bad experiment by Iranian elite. They are surely badly regret what they have done.

  33. The thing is England invented practically everything in the modern world with the industrial revolution. From medicine to music. And we have to accept and praise their achievements.
    The mollahs had stopped the renaissance of a smart Iran.

  34. Iran is independent? You must be kidding. Iran has not been colonised. Not directly but in such terrible state Itran is in perhaps it would hve been much better if it had been colonised. Every intelectual knows that the ruling regim in Iran are all British servants. I'm sure you are secretly aware of that too. As for my I consider my country a lost country acountry in constant decline.

  35. Hahahahah. Is he a joke or for real? 
    6:12 "Herodotus might have been an Iranian".
    10:17 "iranians are the only country conquered by the arabs but did not take arabic language". hmmm… what about the whole of Central Asia that was conquered but don't speak arabic. What about Spain?

  36. It's not so much Arabs converted the Persians but the other way around, the Persian mind n ideas shaped the most beautiful, mystical n best parts of Islam. Truth is also we find all the greatest sages, poets, scientists n polymaths of Islam's Golden 💛 Age, from Omar Khayyam, Ibn Sina, Rumi to Hafiz were all from Persia! Even the ideas n description of Heaven by Arabian prophet who founded Islam took his cues from motifs of PARADISE which is Persian. (There is very well known story of Muhammad being challenged by a Persian doctor calling him out for simple repeating Persian stories he claimed an Angel told him…Muhammad caught lying simply had him beheaded later,every Muslim knows this)

  37. What is happening today in Iran is not what the country stands for 2500 years of history. Persian´s root is Zoroastrian in essence. Is it time for the people to revolve and get rid of that Satanic mullahs out of the way and bring a real value of what Persia stands for . . .

  38. I love Iran. Rich history and culture. The present day Iran is under seize from very radical oppressive Government. Unfortunate. They must go back to Zorostrianism

  39. He is one of the guys that was educated in west, and along with others like him helped mullahs and Islamic regime come to power in iran.
    He will be known in iran history as a traitor. Just like zahak

  40. There are certain points which could be added(like the birth of Safavid Empire ie the modern iranian state) but overall it was an interesting video.

  41. ABBAS MILANI FAILED TO MENTION IN 7TH CE AD WHEN ISLAM INVADED PERSIA & CONVERTED ZOROASHTRIANS TO SHIA ISLAM, ZOROASHTRIANS FLED IRAN & SOUGHT REFUGE IN INDIA. INDIA HAS SHELTERED ZOROASHTRIAN RELIGTION. INDIA HAS THE LARGEST ZOROASHTRIAN (Z) POPULATION.

  42. Well it was Mongols who saved Iran's language and Identity. It was Hulagu khan the grand son of Chengiz Khan who changed the official language of Iran from Arabic at the time to Persian. He also crushed the Abbasi khalifate.
    Safavids were the ones who actually replaced Ilkhanate and similar system of govern. Safavids which are known as producer of modern Iran after many centuries were actually Turks. Turks and Mongols are originally of the same origion of Altaic people.

    There are more turkish people in Iran than Persian people right now.

    Iranians should thank turks and mongols for saving them from Arabic domination and creating the foundation of modern Iran.

    By the way name iran was first used as a countries during Sassanid empire. Iranians were originally wild barbaric invading nomads and learnt the civilisation from people of Ilamite and Messopetamia.

    So please get your studies right

  43. We shout death to lefty who got slapped by the Sawak agent once and became their agent and later a CIA agent. When like many of the Sawak agents who came to Amerikka was offered a teaching job, of course a Farsi teacher at university. He and thousand like him are traitors and will not ever be allowed to return to Iran.

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